A view of a homeless encampment on Logan Avenue in the East Village on June 14, 2023.
A view of a homeless encampment on Logan Avenue in the East Village on June 14, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

For the seventeenth month in a row, the number of people becoming homeless in San Diego County outpaced the number moving into homes.

The Regional Task Force on Homelessness reports that 1,475 San Diegans became homeless for the first time in August and 733 exited homelessness. Put another way, more than twice the number of San Diegans accessed homeless services for the first time in August than were housed. 

The data reflects a harsh reality: Local efforts to combat homelessness can’t keep up with the flood of people losing their homes and thus the region isn’t putting a significant dent in the problem even as local leaders tout increased investments in combating homelessness.

What won’t solve the problem: Some politicians have touted CARE Court, a new system aimed at compelling more people into mental health treatment, as a panacea for homelessness. It won’t be. 

As our Lisa Halverstadt recently reported, only people with certain psychotic disorders will be eligible for the initiative debuting Oct. 1 – and it’s not even clear what percentage of participants will be homeless despite rhetoric suggesting otherwise. 

The county’s behavioral health director recently told Halverstadt the county estimates it will receive about 1,000 CARE Court petitions a year and that a judge will determine about 250 of those patients qualify for treatment.

More on CARE Court: In an interview with The Union-Tribune two weeks before the new system takes effect, the county’s behavioral health director emphasized the small number of people the initiative will serve. For that reason, the county official told the U-T he’s feeling  “pretty good” about the county’s ability to link participants with treatment despite the region’s overtaxed and clogged behavioral health system. He acknowledged the county’s still working on housing options.

Politics Report: About That MTS Severance Offer 

MTS board meeting in downtown on April 20, 2023.
MTS board meeting in downtown on April 20, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

We’ve learned more about what the Metropolitan Transit System offered former employee Grecia Figueroa in a severance agreement. 

Take a step back: Figueroa is suing the agency and former County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. She accused him of sexual assault and harassment. In a July update to the lawsuit, Figueroa’s attorneys revealed that MTS had not only fired her but also offered her a severance in exchange for her agreeing not to pursue legal action against MTS or Fletcher. 

Late last week, MTS released the full severance agreement. Scott Lewis has more details in the Politics Report.

Also, what’s going to happen with the Union-Tribune? What do the new owners have planned for the paper’s future? 

Read all of that in the Politics Report here. (We’ve opened up the newsletter to all readers, but we’d still love your support. Become a Voice member here.) 

Speaking of MTS … 

A man can be seen sitting in the trolley through a silhouetted pictured window at 12th and Imperial Avenue trolley station on May 1, 2023.
A man can be seen sitting in the trolley through a silhouetted pictured window at 12th and Imperial Avenue trolley station on May 1, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

Our managing editor rode the trolley on Friday and wrote about the experience in her weekly newsletter. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t a super smooth ride. 

The transit system’s board has decided to add credit card tapping to its fare payment options. But it won’t be available for a while. 

Read Cup of Chisme here. 

VOSD Podcast: How the City Attorney Could Change 

On the latest episode our co-hosts discuss the race to replace City Attorney Mara Elliott. She is termed out. The crew also gets into the history of the City Attorney’s role in San Diego and what this change could mean for local politics. 

Listen to the episode here. 

In Other News 

  • Costs for road repairs are rising much faster than the city of San Diego’s available funding. So, the city may soon start using in-house crews instead of contractors to cut costs, among a series of other changes stemming from a grand jury report released this summer. (Union-Tribune)
  • San Diego’s unemployment rate is higher than it’s been in more than a year. (Union-Tribune)
  • A federal judge temporarily struck down an Escondido Union School District policy requiring teachers refer to students’ preferred gender identities at school, but switch back to biological pronouns and legal names when speaking with parents. Two teachers sued over the policy arguing it violated students’ First Amendment rights. (Fox 5)
  • A new city audit revealed San Diego violated its own purchasing and contract rules, spending more than $4 million using rules that allows the city to bypass typical buying practices in cases of emergency. (Union-Tribune) 
  • Employees and members at two Chuze Fitness gyms in Mission Valley and Chula Vista may have been exposed to tuberculosis. Dates of potential exposure are Jan. 4 to Feb. 22 of this year. Symptoms of TB include persistent cough, fever, night sweats and unexplained weight loss. (Union-Tribune)

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and MacKenzie Elmer.

Join the Conversation


  1. Everyone already knows, Lisa. It’s only sobering to you and your editors because you’re all so out of touch with the community you so badly want to be the voice of. Jail for all homeless, it can be fully accomplished in several days.

  2. So, city measures to abate the homeless bloodbath run unabated while 100’s of donors fill the war chest of Mister Todd Gloria with incalculable financial resources. This makes total sense if you are an idiot.


    We need to quit wasting money on hotels/apartments, etc. for our homeless. Such go
    nowhere and create even more issues to deal with…below is my suggestion:
    Please consider this idea below and see if we could get federal support for it
    concerning our homeless and the help they need:

    Our Homeless
    Our country needs to start taking the homeless situation more seriously. There is no good reason why our Military bases couldn’t take on at least some of our homeless. To me, this could be one solution to helping our homeless get off the streets and into an environment that is safe, that will provide them with food, medical attention, and security, as well as provide them a means to regain the loss of self-esteem of so many of our homeless. Our military bases could provide all the above, of course, with the permission of the Department of Defense and base commanders. I see so many efforts at trying to utilize hotels, apartment buildings, and the like, that are costing our cities, states, and federal government so much money that really is just a waste of time. We need to show our homeless that our government and all of us really care about them. We need to offer them the opportunity to settle in on a base. They have the human resources and financial resources to really do something, and in a short period of time. These homeless could even be offered up some tasks to do on the bases. I think every heart cries when we see this tragic situation on our streets….it leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless for them. Please support this effort. We need to start considering offering up our military bases for our homeless. Thank you for your efforts, too.

    Mike Stalsby J.D.
    954 Coast Blvd. South
    La Jolla, California 92037

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